Catch the foxes for us,
the little foxes that spoil the vineyards,
for our vineyards are in blossom.
Song of Solomon 2:15 (ESV)
I love my mother. She is nearly ninety years old and still loves to paint on canvas. She finds Bible verses to paint onto scenery. She recently began talking about this little verse in the Song of Solomon. Honestly, as a widow, I avoid this book! I don’t want to read about lovers, I don’t want to watch romantic movies, I don’t want to hear about lovey-dovey couples. But this little verse has application for all of us.
The foxes were the little destroyers coming into their new relationship. The vineyard was just beginning to take off in bloom and those pesky little foxes were tearing them up. The couple didn’t want anything to interrupt their new love.
We have an opportunity as widows to develop a relationship all over. This time with God. Afresh. Anew. Vibrant. Deep. Believers are the Bride of Christ and He is the Groom. We have the chance to dig into Scripture and get to know our Groom like never before. We have had such deep hurt in losing our spouses, but God can use our hurt to bring glory to Him in new and creative ways.
Except for the little foxes.
What are the little foxes that want to destroy your new, deeper relationship with Christ? I have “foxes” like anger or apathy. “Why would God let this awful thing happen to ME?” or “What good does it do to follow Christ when He takes away such a precious gift?” These little “foxes” can be joy stealers. Think of the blossoming fruit as the Fruit of the Spirit or characteristics of a Believer in Christ. The “foxes” could be being too busy or apathetic, jealousy or pride. “What does SHE have that I don’t? Why would SHE get that honor?” “Why did her husband experience healing and mine didn’t? Could God actually love her MORE?” The foxes might be murmuring or complaining, impatience or ungratefulness. Those are just the “foxes” in my life! What about your life? What are your little “foxes”? Discouragement, selfishness, false doctrine, doubt, fear, gossip?
How do we fight these little “foxes” and keep them out of our growing relationship with Christ?
I researched the humane way to remove real foxes from a garden and this is what I found:
1) Remove access to food: Get rid of the rotting food on the ground. In other words, “let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1 ESV Recognize the sin in your life and confess it to God.
2) Remove places of shelter: look for areas where the foxes could hide. Stay in Scripture so you recognize false teaching. Dig into Scripture so you can hear God speak to you personally through passages. John 15 explains about abiding in Christ. Matthew 5:6 shows us we can be filled when we hunger and thirst for righteousness. Little “foxes” can hide in our relationship with God when we don’t spend time in His Word, getting to know Him, not just about Him.
3) Deter foxes from wanting to enter: put up a fence. You could do this by fellowshipping with other believers and bonding with Christian widows as encouragement. Hebrews 10:25 (ESV) not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Extend grace to those church members who don’t know what to say. Worship is NOT what you get out of it; worship is what we put INTO it.
Have you recognized a little “fox” wanting to get in and destroy the “fruit” in your life today? I certainly have. I have almost made some of the “foxes” PETS!
I need to run…I just saw another little “fox” trying to dig into the garden.
Father God, Husband, Lover of my soul, I love you and want a deeper relationship with You. You know me inside and out, You know my every thought, so help me today to guard my heart and put a stop to the enemies trying to steal my joy. Amen
Elizabeth Dyer is a writer/speaker with A Widow’s Might/A New Season Ministries, Inc.. She resides in Oklahoma, amid earthquakes and tornadoes, giving her ample opportunities to trust God! Her six children, large dog, noisy cat, and guinea pigs keep her busy enough, but she still finds time to have coffee now and then with a friend. Elizabeth lost her husband in 2012 and she loves to share how God is leading her on this new journey.
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